Another Step Forward in WVU's Facility Plan

  • By Michael Fragale
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  • April 02, 2014 03:59 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Significant improvements and investments for West Virginia University athletic facilities gained a vote of approval today from the West Virginia Board of Governors Facility Sub-Committee.
Now, pending full Board of Governors approval at the Friday, April 4 meeting, as well as further authorization from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission at its April meeting, the projects are getting closer to becoming a reality.
Last week, the Board’s seven-member Finance Sub-Committee reviewed the plans and associated resolutions that would authorize the issuance of revenue bonds in late summer to cover the principal costs of updating and modernizing many of WVU’s decades-old facilities.
The athletic facilities master plan – with some projects expected to begin later this year, others in the coming years – is estimated to cost $106 million, with $75 million in bonds made possible from guaranteed annual revenue from the Big 12 Conference, $6 million from a capital expenditure fund in the multimedia rights contract with IMG and $25 million in private donations through the Mountaineer Athletic Club.
Initially, the football team room in the Milan Puskar Center will be updated and expanded, and renovations and expansions will be undertaken at 34-year-old Milan Puskar Stadium to include the concourses, restrooms, gates, concessions, LED boards and wall graphics. A marquee at the Coliseum intersection is also planned.
“Many of the current athletic facilities are 35-45 years old and in need of major makeovers,” said Michael Szul, senior associate athletic director for business operations.
Szul said the following revenue and varsity sports projects are also in the planning stages: renovation of the Coliseum restrooms and concession areas and potential expansion of the concourses; renovations and a new indoor track at the Shell Building; additional home and visiting locker rooms; additional weight rooms; renovation of the Natatorium and tennis courts; repurposing Hawley Field; and additional infrastructure improvements to enhance the fan experience.
Recently completed projects include the new basketball practice facility, renovations at the Dreamworks soccer field, the weight room and coaches meeting area at the Puskar Center, renovations at the Natatorium and ongoing preventative maintenance projects. In addition, the new TIF-funded baseball ballpark is slated for completion in early 2015.